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White, G.A. 1993. New crops research: Northeastern region and national federal efforts. p. 68-81. In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), New crops. Wiley, New York.

New Crops Research: Northeastern Region and National Federal Efforts

George A. White*

    1. Connecticut
    2. Delaware
    3. Maine
    4. Massachusetts
    5. New Hampshire
    6. New Jersey
    1. Maryland
    1. Illinois
    2. Iowa
    3. Kansas
    4. Michigan
    5. Missouri
    6. Nebraska
    7. North Dakota
    8. Wisconsin
    1. Arkansas
    2. Florida
    3. Georgia
    4. Mississippi
    5. Oklahoma
    6. Puerto Rico
    7. Texas
    1. Arizona
    2. Idaho
    3. Oregon
  10. Table 1
  11. Table 2
  12. Table 3
  13. Table 4
  14. Fig. 1
  15. Fig. 2
  16. Fig. 3
  17. Fig. 4
  18. Fig. 5
  19. Fig. 6

The objective of this paper is to provide a broad overview of new crops research in the Northeastern Region of the United States as well as the National federal efforts. This paper is mainly limited to species not yet established commercially or recently commercialized on a small scale. This limitation would exclude crops such as guar, hops, and sunflowers. An electronic search of the CRIS projects that were active from October 1, 1989 onward plus a few non-CRIS projects are included in this review. An excellent review of new industrial crops that covers a wide range of species and includes germplasm status has been published by Thompson et al. (1992).


Most of the new crops efforts in the Northeast Region are directed toward the introduction of exotic, ethnic vegetables, and crops or new cultivars of crops that are grown in other regions of the United States (Table 1).


Hill and Maynard (1989) reported results of trials with 29 foreign and domestic cultivars of globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) where this normally biennial species was grown as an annual through vernalization of seeds and application of gibberellic acid to young plants. The potential for producing commercial quality artichokes from annual culture in Connecticut appears promising. Encouraging results were obtained with trials on witloof and radicchio chicories (Cichorium intybus), Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis), and pak choi (B. chinensis) (Hill 1989, 1991).


Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) research has concentrated more on the utility of the stems and the two main stem components than on production of the crop. Some studies were conducted on the use of chopped stems as a sewage sludge filler. The chopped stems have appeared promising as a bulking agent in peat-based growth media (W.G. Pill pers. commun.). The outer-stem bast (phloem) fibers when separated from the short-fibered inner core (xylem) can command premium prices for use in specialty papers and other high quality products. This fact has prompted research on uses for the core. The magnitude of the broiler industry in the Delmarva Peninsula requires large quantities of litter for which kenaf stem core might be suitable. Studies by Malone et al. (1989) showed no difference on weight gain, feed efficiency, or mortality rate of broilers raised on kenaf stem core as compared to pine sawdust. The quality of used core is being evaluated for feed after enhancement with feed grains. Fiber Kore, Inc. of Delaware is cooperating with the chicken litter studies in Delaware and with Natural Fibers of Louisiana in the separation of kenaf bast and core fibers and in identifying markets for them (Kugler 1991).


Since 1987, researchers have been studying the effects of crop rotation and tillage practices of crops grown in rotation with potato. White lupine (Lupinus albus) uniquely fits the niche as a soil improving plant and as a source of protein rich seeds (Merrick 1990). According to G.A. Porter (pers. commun.), white lupine is being grown experimentally for grain and for green manure in comparison to grain (oats) and green manure (clover) in rotation with potatoes. The main limiting factors for production in Maine are slow maturation, limited seed availability and cost, and weed control. Progress in selecting for determinate, early maturing types has been good.


The objectives of research on Easter cactus (Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri) are to determine the environmental requirements for vegetative and reproductive growth. Different light, temperature, and fertilizer regimes have been tested to determine optimum environmental conditions for maximizing number of flowers with minimum fertilizer and extended warm temperatures. Boyle and Stimart (1989) have published a grower's guide based on their research results. A reduction in the night temperature from 18° to 10°C for 6 to 8 weeks before flowering increased the number of buds but did not affect flowering time appreciably on 'Crimson Giant' Easter cactus (Boyle 1991). Fuel savings from the temperature change would be beneficial to commercial growers.

Research on Witloof chicory (Cichorium intybus) is based on forcing development of the floral axis and basal leaves with subsequent formation of chicons. Corey et al. (1990) reported that marketing factors may limit the crop more than production constraints. The use of weights on the crown at the start of forcing resulted in improved yields and quality of chicons (Tan and Corey 1990). The length:diameter ratios of the chicons decreased, a quality indicator, with increasing weight.

New Hampshire

Research on Cucurbita pepo hybrids comparing bush and vine types with the hull-less seed trait (Fig. 1) has given promising results and could lead to commercialization of the seeds as a snackseed (J.B. Loy pers. commun.). Seed yields up to 2,400 kg/ha have been obtained from small-fruited, bush or intermediate selections (Loy 1990).

The alternative floricultural crops project includes work on production schedules for Lisianthus, Gerbera, Anigozanthos, and other species.

New Jersey

Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium frequently referred to as pyrethrum has been known for many years as a source of the natural insecticide, pyrethrin. Most of the world's production of pyrethrum is concentrated in Kenya. However, pyrethrum could be produced successfully in New Jersey and other states (Sievers and Lowman 1941). According to C.C. Still (pers. commun.), the perennial plants have persisted for more than five years at the College of Agriculture farm. The focus of the pyrethrum project includes selection for increased cold hardiness, repellency trials, pyrethrin content, and vegetative propagation, and production for on-farm use.


State projects that are funded through Hatch Act funds administered by the Cooperative State Research Service (CSRS) of USDA are not directly discussed. This compilation includes ARS research, projects supported through special CSRS funds (such as Natural Latex, 1890, and Special Grants), and Cooperative Agreements funded in part or wholly by ARS.


Research in this Region is quite limited with the exception of service activities relative to new crops germplasm. Projects are summarized in Table 2.


A research program carried out at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center on new species of florist/nursery crops includes species direct from the wild; species commercialized in other countries but not in the United States; improved form of existing cultivars such as from tall cut flowers to short potted plants; new production technology to reduce cropping time; and developing year-round forcing for species with unpredictable flowering (Roh and Lawson 1990). Eucrosia, native to Ecuador and Peru, is an example of a beautiful wild species under study (Fig. 2).

While research at Beltsville on Stokesia laevis as an oilseed seed source of epoxy fatty acid has ceased, Campbell (1981) appraised its agronomic potential and released four improved lines (Fig. 3).

Crotalaria juncea (sunn hemp) is under investigation as a potential new annual source of paper pulp. This species, immune to root knot nematodes, is being tested as a rotation crop with kenaf. At the Frederick Plant Disease Laboratory, Leather and Forrence (1990) have found that the seeds of sunn hemp contain a potent phytotoxin that inhibited growth of leafy spurge. These same researchers have shown that artemisinin extracted from Artemisia annua, a potential new crop for medicinal and pesticide purposes, inhibited root induction in duckweed (CRIS progress report).


Most of the Federal new crops efforts in the region are concentrated on industrial use oilseeds with minor efforts on Amaranthus and Chenopodium for applications in the food industry. Semi-technical updates on new sources of industrial oils including rapeseed, crambe, jojoba, Lesquerella, meadowfoam, Cuphea, Vernonia, and chia (Salvia hispanica) appear in INFORM, a news publication of the American Oil Chemist's Society (Anon. 1991a). In reviewing the status of the industrial feedstocks and products from high erucic acid oils extracted from crambe and rapeseed, Van Dyne et al. (1990) covered aspects of production, products and usage, seed composition, processing, economics, and oil outlook. Articles by Vignolo and Naughton (1991) and by Browning (1991) suggest that efforts on the one time new crop castor (Ricinus communis) should be revived because of the diversity and approved uses of its seedoil and the high volume of imports.

A number of special projects referred to as High Erucic Acid Development Effort (HEADE) on Crambe and Brassica have been funded by USDA/CSRS and were established to accelerate commercialization of these crops. There are six of these projects in the North Central region. The major portion of direct federal research on the chemistry, processing, and end-use products from potential new crops with emphasis on oilseeds is conducted at the Northern Regional Research Center, Peoria, Illinois (Table 3). There researchers identified in the 1960s and 1970s many species having unique seed oils and recently described some of the fatty acids and the crop status of the species involved (Kleiman and Princen 1991). This Center also funds Cooperative Agreements at other locations. Research results on sources of critical materials and chemicals have been reported on the new oilseed crops Limnanthes (Erhan and Kleiman 1990a,b), Lesquerella (Carlson et al. 1990; Chaudhry et al. 1990), and jojoba (Abbott et al. 1990). A high boiling point, non-dimer product from Limnanthes oil may become a unique lubricant (Erhan and Kleiman 1990a).


Research at Urbana is concentrated on crambe meal for use in chicken rations and glucosinolates in the meal as possible cancer deterrents.


The HEADE project at Ames consists of three parts: (1) Crambe breeding and cultural practices. Efforts include evaluation of breeder lines for yield, seed retention, and oil and fatty acid content. Cooperative efforts are underway to obtain approval for use of the herbicide Treflan (R), (2) Improved processing of crambe. Studies include evaluation of solvents for extracting oil and glucosinolates, water extraction of glucosinolate from defatted meal, and reverse osmosis to improve oil extraction, and (3) Economics of crambe and rapeseed production. Studies are underway in cooperation with Idaho, Missouri, and North Dakota to determine the areas where crambe, industrial rapeseed (high in erucic acid), and canola can compete with other crops, the areas that are the best economical sources of erucic acid, and the cost comparisons with international markets.

Research to reduce or eliminate extended postharvest seed dormancy in Cuphea wrightii and C. laminuligera is underway at the Plant Introduction Station, Ames. The best results on germination and seedling survival of these sources of medium-chain-length fatty acids were obtained from excised seeds on agar medium (Roath and Widrlechner 1988).


The HEADE project at Manhattan concentrates on selection, improvement of cultural practices, and evaluation of meal quality for rapeseed. Variety selection emphases are concentrated on winter hardiness, pest resistance, and yield. Feeding studies to evaluate performance, carcass quality, and protein supplement efficacy when feeding rapeseed meal are underway. Extrusion technology as a possible means of deactivating the enzyme in rapeseed meal that breaks glucosinolates into anti-nutritional compounds is also being evaluated.


Continuing research at Michigan State University on Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), a fast-growing leguminous tree indicates excellent potential for expanded production of this species because of a variety of uses (Barrett et al. 1990). Black locust is an excellent forage crop under proper management with high biomass yields. For black locust to become more important as a lumber source in the United States, trees are needed with straight stems and resistance to borer insects.


As part of a HEADE project at Columbia three facets of high erucic acid crop development are under study: (1) Crop production--evaluating rapeseed cultivars for forage adaptability, and seed yield as well as herbicidal, disease, and date of planting studies, (2) Product development/marketing--nylon 1313 and other products from high erucic acid oils are under evaluation, and (3) Economics--production costs as well as the economic feasibility of biodiesel fuel from rapeseed oil are under evaluation.


The HEADE project at Lincoln concentrates on the uses of high erucic acid oils and includes the development of an engineering properties database.

North Dakota

The HEADE project at Fargo features research on cultural practices, product development, and economics. Cooperation with National Sun Industries in generating interest among farmers to grow crambe and to provide technical assistance to the growers, has been successful. In 1990, most of the 890 ha of commercially grown crambe was in North Dakota (Anon. 1991a). Of the 1,800 ha contracted for 1991, about 1,560 ha were harvested and, the projected crop for 1992 is 8,100 ha (J.C. Gardner pers. commun.).


The Forest Products Laboratory at Madison, USDA/Forest Service, has a research agreement with the Northern Regional Research center, USDA/ARS, Peoria, Illinois to evaluate kenaf pulps as major fibrous furnish components for linerboard and light weight coated papers.


Federal new crops research in the Southern Region covers a wide range of species including fruits, vegetables, cereals, forages, oilseeds, and paper pulp sources (Table 3). However, the most projects and greatest financial support relate to kenaf as a source of paper pulp and forage.


Research at the Booneville South Central Family Farms Center, is underway on Amaranthus both as a vegetable (greens) and a grain. United States consumption exceeds 150 mt yearly and should increase in the future (Makus 1990a). Studies are underway on nutrition including aluminum accumulation (Makus 1989) and response to nitrogen (Makus 1990b).


At least 16 subtropical and tropical fruits are grown commercially in Florida and 20 additional fruit and nut species are grown as roadside and dooryard crops (Knight 1988) with 9,246 ha in commercial production (Campbell 1988). Carambola (Averrhoa carambola) is an example of a new fruit crop (Fig. 4) with promise for increasing production (Knight 1989).


Recent interest in Cuphea spp. at Athens is directed toward agronomic improvement as a seedoil source of short chain fatty acids but Cuphea especially C. ignea has long been used on a limited basis as an ornamental. Three superior selections of C. glutinosa were made on the basis of overwintering and other desirable characteristics and `Lavender Lady' was formally released (Jaworski and Phatak 1990a,b).

Pearl millet has excellent potential to become a new feed grain crop in Georgia and elsewhere (W.W. Hanna pers. commun.). Hybrids grown at the Tifton Coastal Plain Station (Fig. 5) have shown excellent productivity, drought tolerance, and adaptability to pH levels of 4.5 to 8.0. Inbred parental lines for hybrid production are being formally released by USDA/ARS.


A feasibility study for a 100,000 ton fiber separation and chemical pulp mill is underway (Kugler 1991).


Kenaf research at Lane includes cultural aspects for both fiber production and use as livestock feed. Harvest dates significantly affected harvest index (Webber 1991a). Other studies compared the effects of locations and cultivars on yield, leaf to stem ratios, and percentage of bast and core fibers (Ching et al. 1991; Webber 1991b).

Puerto Rico

Studies at Mayaguez are underway on root and tuber crops such as tanier (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) whose cormels are consumed much like potatoes. Tanier hectarage has been steadily declining primarily because of dry root-rot syndrome (Rivera et al. 1990). Diploid commercial cultivars are susceptible to the syndrome but tetraploids and pentaploids are resistant. Resistant hybrid tetraploids (Fig. 6) resulting from crosses between natural tetraploids and colchicine-induced tetraploids of diploid cultivars have been produced.


Kenaf is a suitable host for all four races of Meloidogyne incognita and all four races can significantly reduce stem yields (J.A. Veech pers. commun.) but some variability in sensitivity among kenaf cultivars was observed. At College Station, a quick method for evaluating kenaf cultivars and breeding lines for resistance to nematodes has been developed (Veech 1990).

Resistance to Phymatotrichopsis omnivora (root rot), has been explored in Weslaco in kenaf and sunn hemp (Cook and Hickman 1990). Sunn hemp was considerably more resistant than kenaf; but of the kenaf cultivars, 'Tainung No. 1' appeared to be more resistant than 'Everglades 41'. According to Kugler (1991), Texas researchers concluded that kenaf stem core is comparable to wood shavings for poultry litter.

Guayule has been evaluated as a crop on dryland in south Texas, (Gonzalez 1988). The highest plant densities gave the highest yields. Harvesting the whole plant (including roots) every three years was recommended rather than harvesting tops and regrowth after one or two years. Nitrogen and potassium increased dry weight of guayule plants but decreased the accumulation of resin and rubber (Thomas and Hickman 1989). Nitrogen stress actually increased the percentage of resin and rubber; however a marked reduction in biomass because of N stress reduced total rubber production.


Federal research on new crops in the Region (Table 3) is concentrated on industrial-use crops especially guayule, bladderpod (Lesquerella spp.), and meadowfoam (Limnanthes spp.). Lesser efforts are being expended on crambe/rapeseed, jojoba, Cuphea, and Vernonia.


Guayule. Numerous research papers have been published on plant development, production, breeding, harvesting, and processing. Results of the Second Guayule Uniform Yield trials indicate that three new test entries performed well with AZ101 having the highest biomass and resin yields, and Cal-6 and Cal-7 ranking first and second in rubber yield. Evaluations of Arizona selections showed improvement over a standard variety as rubber content and yields were consistently high and regeneration after harvests was good (Ray et al. 1989; Dierig et al. 1992). Rubber content ranged from 4.5 to 7.5%. Several of the tested selections are included in trials in other states.

In evaluation studies with 42 selected lines, Dierig et al. (1989a,b) found that the variables of plant height, width, volume, and dry weight accounted for 85% of the rubber yield and that considerable variation occurred among some lines for various characters. Even though guayule plants are drought tolerant, they responded positively for biomass production with irrigation (Nakayama et al. 1991). Studies of postharvest storage of guayule plant material prior to processing for natural rubber showed that the degree of rubber degradation varied among test entries (Dierig et al. 1991). Studies on guayule in cooperation with the Botany Dept., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, include photoperiodic induction of flowering (Backhaus and Higgins 1989) and the effects of Morphactin and DCPTA on growth and rubber induction (Dierig and Backhaus 1990).

Bladderpod. Of the various species of Lesquerella, L. fendleri has long been considered as a good candidate for new crop status as a seedoil source of hydroxy fatty acids. Interest in developing bladderpod into a viable new crop for arid lands has recently been revitalized. Since extensive wild populations exist over wide areas, genetic diversity should be easily obtainable for use in breeding and crop improvement. Seed yields of L. fendleri obtained from unselected bulked populations and improvement after one selection cycle appear sufficient to justify major efforts on crop development (Thompson et al. 1989). An excellent assessment of the industrial potential of bladderpod that covers production, seed crushing and processing, products, and economics has recently been published (Anon. 1991b).

Cuphea. Species of Cuphea have not been adaptable in Phoenix, therefore research efforts have been shifted primarily to Iowa and Oregon where Cuphea is more easily grown. Nevertheless, considerable research has been conducted in Arizona. For example, Thompson et al. (1990) reported variation for lauric acid (12:0) and capric acid (10:0) and seed weight within self-pollinating accessions of C. lutea, C. tolucana, and C. wrightii. Ronis et al. (1990) used isozymes to verify interspecific hybrids of Cuphea.


In Moscow, rapeseed has been evaluated as a potential source of "biodiesel" (methyl ester of rapeseed oil). Spring types are preferred in the northern states because of severe winters (Auld et al. 1991). Adapted winter types with good cold tolerance, low vernalization requirements, and pest resistance could greatly enhance production in the Southeast. Engine endurance tests with biodiesel gave equivalent performance and durability to diesel. Rapeseed crops could produce vast quantities of vegetable oil for processing and use as biodiesel, a renewable resource. Gareau et al. (1990), evaluated six species of Brassica and one of Eruca to determine their adaptability to the Northwest. Under Idaho conditions, B. hirta and B. juncea showed the most promise. Considerable effort on improvement of B. hirta through breeding is being expended under a HEADE project and economic evaluations are underway as part of the project in cooperation with other state universities.


Studies in Corvallis with Limnanthes alba have included reproductive physiology (Jahns and Jollif 1990). Multiple bee visits to flowers will be necessary to increase seed set per flower and hence increase seed yields in field production.

Research on Cuphea include genetics of allozyme variation in C. lanceolata (Knapp and Tagliani 1989a) and in C. laminuligera and C. lutea (Krueger and Knapp 1990); seed dormancy in C. laminuligera and C. lanceolata (Knapp and Tagliani 1989b; Knapp 1990); mating systems of C. laminuligera (Krueger and Knapp 1991) and outcrossing in C. lanceolata (Knapp et al. 1991a); fatty acid mutants (Knapp and Tagliani 1991) and oil diversity (Knapp et al. 1991b) of C. viscosissima; and finally genetic parameters for oil yield in C. lanceolata (Webb and Knapp 1991).


Several groups provide services in support of new crop researchers (Table 4). The USDA's Plant Introduction Office (PIO) coordinates the international exchange of new crop germplasm, facilitates movement of plant materials through quarantine, and provides documentation of passport data through PI (plant introduction) number assignments. This office frequently introduces new crop germplasm and coordinates the quarantine and initial distribution in the United States of new crop accessions collected abroad.

The Plant Exploration Office (PEO) plans, participates, and assists with field collections in the United States and abroad. This office determines germplasm gaps in collections and pinpoints areas where collecting is needed. Good locality and use data are obtained routinely.

The Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) contains the national database for new crop germplasm that resides in NPGS collections. The Database Management Unit (DBMU) is responsible to maintain the integrity of data and assist researchers in accessing data in support of their research. Crop Advisory Committees (CAC) are important because of the technical knowledge imparted relative to the needs of the crops involved. A New Crops CAC was formed in 1990. The CAC activities are facilitated by the Research Leader of the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory (NGRL).

Many services relative to new crops are provided by crop germplasm curators and their staffs. Most of the germplasm of new crop species are maintained at the Regional Plant Introduction Stations (RPIS) that are responsible for the increase, evaluation, maintenance, distribution, and information documentation for all new crop species assigned to their location. Staff members may also be directly involved in research and plant exploration efforts such as efforts on Cuphea at Ames, Iowa, the curatorial site. Germplasm collection sites in NPGS for selected new crops are as follows:
Use Site Crop
Industrial RPIS, Griffin, GA Kenaf, roselle, Stokes aster, sunn hemp
RPIS, Ames, IA Crambe, Cuphea, rapeseed, Vernonia, aromatic plants
RPIS, Pullman, WA Guayule, jojoba, Lesquerella, Limnanthes
Food/feed RPIS, Griffin, GA Pearl millet
Horticulture Research
Station, Miami, FL
Carambola, other fruits
RPIS, Ames, IA Amaranth, quinoa, herbs, spices
NCGR, Mayaguez, PR Tanier
Long term storage and associated research for new crops germplasm in the NPGS is provided by the staff of the National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL) in Colorado. The crop curators at the working collections are responsible for submitting good quality seed to NSSL for storage.

Other groups such as inspectors of the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), USDA and State Department of Agriculture inspectors are involved in the exchange of new crop germplasm. Chemists at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory, Peoria, Illinois may run limited chemical analysis of new crop seeds in support of production research.

The history and operation of NPGS has been described (White et al. 1989) and various activities summarized in some detail (Janick 1989).


In the Northeastern Region, most of the State effort is devoted to assessing the potential for production of exotic, specialty or ethnic vegetables, new ornamentals, herbs, natural insecticides, and green manure crops. The potential for commercialization of globe artichoke, hull-less seeded pumpkin, lupine, and canola is being explored. Other research includes two possible commercial applications for kenaf and clearance of chemicals for pest control.

The National federal effort is largely aimed at the production and end-uses of industrial new crops especially oilseeds such as crambe, rapeseed, meadowfoam, Cuphea, bladderpod, and jojoba; the natural rubber source guayule; and fibers from kenaf. The research is heavily concentrated in Arizona, Florida (subtropical fruits), Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas. In addition to in-house research by the USDA/ARS, demonstration/pilot processing runs, and rather specific research projects are funded by the ARS and the CSRS of the USDA. The CSRS has funded eight special HEADE projects to promote the commercialization of the high erucic acid oilseeds of crambe and rape (mostly winter type). The commercialization prospects for pearl millet as a feed grain and the likely expansion of carambola acreage appear very favorable.

Supportive service activities are provided by curators of crop germplasm collections, elements of the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, and others through the enlargement, documentation, and maintenance of new crop germplasm.


*I thank those many researchers who contributed information and photographs and reviewed the manuscript. A special note of appreciation goes to John Meyers and Shawn Conrad for several Current Research Information Service (CRIS) project retrievals.
Table 1. State research on new crops, Northeastern Region.

State Crop plant/group Nature of research
Connecticut Globe artichoke, witloof chicory, Chinese cabbage, pak choi, herbs Culture, quality, germplasm evaluation
Delaware Kenaf Enhancement of chicken litter, bulking agent in peat-based growth media
Maine Lupinus albus Selection, adaptability, culture
Maryland Duckweed Concentrate fresh duck weed into a dry storable animal feedstuff
Massachusetts Witloof chicory Yield and quality
Easter cactus Control of vegetative and reproductive development
New Hampshire Cucurbita pepo Breeding, culture; hull-less seed as a food snack
Alternative floriculture species Production schedules for various species
New Jersey Natural insecticides Assess production potential, emphasis on pyrethrum
Chicory, longan, lychee, passion fruit, etc. Clearance of chemicals/biologics for minor/special uses
New York Canola, lupine Adaptability of protein and oil crops

Table 2. Federal research on new crops, Northeastern Region.

State Crop plant/group Nature of research
Maryland, Beltsville Aeschynanthus, Anigozanthus, Eustoma, Lachenallia, Ornithogalum Collection, evaluation, genetics, management of new florist/nursery species
Guayule Break seed & seedling dormancy, develop super propagules
Maryland, Frederick Crotalaria juncea and Artemisia annua Biological control with natural product chemicals
Pakistan, Peshawarz Medicinal plants Propagation, culture, harvest, processing
zGrant between the Pakistan Forest Institute and the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, USDA/ARS.

Table 3. Federal research on new crops in the North Central, Southern, and Western Regions

Location Crop plants/group Nature of research
IA, Ames Cuphea and others Germplasm collection, evaluation, and enhancement
Crambe, rapeseedz Market development, production and utilization of high erucic acid oil
Cupheaz Evaluation of oil for support of health, reproduction, and longevity
IL, Peoria Jojoba Jojobin isolation
Cuphea, Lesquerella, Limnanthes, jojoba Chemically evaluate germplasm/breeding lines for oil and fatty acid content
Cuphea, Lesquerella, Limnanthes, jojoba New crop and product development for production of critical materials and chemicals
Guayule Infrastructural evaluation of the natural rubber
IL, Urbana Canola Weed control measures and herbicide residues in harvested crop
Crambe Meal and glucosinolates
MI, East Lansing Black locust Evaluation, improvement through breeding to expand usage
WI, Madison Kenaf Evaluate kenaf pulps for linerboard and coated papers
AR, Booneville Amaranth Yield, quality, economics of vegetable and grain types on hill-lands of the mid-south
AR, Pine Bluff Forage legumes, new/minor crops Evaluate for adaptability on acid soils, feed, and insect pests
FL, Miami Carambola, other tropical/subtropical fruits Selection & breeding
GA, Tifton Pearl millet Evaluation of landraces, germplasm enhancement
Cuphea Screen germplasm for desirable traits and adaptability
MS, Hattiesburg Guayule Develop products from plant by-products after rubber extraction
MS, Mississippi State Kenafy Agronomic & economic potential in the Midsouth
MS, Stoneville Kenaf Develop germplasm, improve cultural practices
OK, Lane Kenaf Production practices, managing nematodes & root diseases
OK, Stillwater Kenafx Organic matter & N digestibility of forage. Economics of adding forage to a wheat-livestock system
PR, Mayaguez Tanier (Xanthosoma) Improvement through breeding and management
TX, College Station Kenaf Control of nematodes
Kenafx Seed increases
TX, Edcouch Kenafw Cultural practices forproduction in South Texas
TX, McAllen Kenafv Demonstration for harvest system & new products
TX, Pecos Guayule Integrate agronomic, processing, and product development research
TX, Weslaco Kenaf Improved cultivars/cultural practices,evaluate pesticides to support registration
Guayule Production practices in South Texas
VA, Petersburg Lesquerella, Limnanthes, Vernonia Biochemical & nutritional studies
AZ, Phoenix Guayule, Lesquerella,Vernonia, others Germplasm improvement and cultural methods
Guayule Establishment, breeding, genetics, rubber quality & quantity
Lesquerella Assess commercialization prospects
AZ, Tempe Guayule Isolation & characterization of rubber transferase and associated genes
AZ, Tucson Guayuleu Establishment by direct seeding
Guayule, Lesquerella, Vernonia, othersw Germplasm and cultural development
CA, Albany Guayule, Hevea, Ficus Biotechnological production of natural rubber
CA, Pasadena Guayule Mechanism of bioregulation of plant responses
CA, Riverside Guayule Breeding and development
ID, Moscow Winter rapeseed (Brassica napus)t Energy source for agriculture production
NM, Las Cruces Crambe, Brassica, other alternative crops Introduction and breeding
Guayule Germplasm evaluation and seed increase
OR, Corvallis Cuphea spp.s Development as a source of medium chain triglycerides
Meadowfoamz Improvement through breeding and cultural practices
zCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, Peoria, IL

yCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, Stoneville, MS

xCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, College Station, TX

wCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, Weslaco, TX

vCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, Washington, DC

uCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, Phoenix, AZ

tCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, Tifton, GA

sCooperative Agreement with USDA/ARS, Ames, IA

Table 4. National services for new crops research.

Service group Location Activities
Plant Introduction Office, NGRL Beltsville, MD Introduction, quarantine, passport data documentation
Plant Exploration Office, NGRL Beltsville, MD Field collection of new crop germplasm, determine collection gaps
Database Management Unit, NGRL Beltsville, MD Maintain database information
Research Leader, NGRL Beltsville, MD Facilitate Crop Advisory Committees
Curators (Seed and Clonal) Various Increase, evaluate, maintain, distribute document information, collect germplasm
National Seed Storage Laboratory Ft. Collins, CO Long term seed storage

Fig. 1. Cross-section of pumpkin (Curcurbita pepo) hybrid showing abundance of hull-less seeds and

a productive field of hull-less seeded pumpkins in New Hampshire (Photo by J.B. Loy, Univ. of New Hampshire).

Fig. 2. Eucrosia, an attractive new ornamental (Photo by M. Roh, USDA/ARS).

Fig. 3. Heads of Stokes aster (Stokesia laevis) with inflexed bracts that contribute to seed retention.

Fig. 4. Carambola (Averrhoa carambola) an expanding new fruit crop in Florida (Photo by R.J. Knight, USDA/ARS).

Fig. 5. A field planting of a hybrid pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum), Tifton, Georgia (Photo by W.W. Hanna, USDA/ARS).

Fig. 6. A robust, disease-free hybrid tetraploid of tanier (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and

cormels in Puerto Rico (Photo by A. Rivera, USDA/ARS).

Last update September 5, 1997 aw